... here, in an essay from ISW. Extract:
Putin has likely not abandoned hopes of achieving his maximalist aims in Ukraine through conventional military means, which he is pursuing in parallel with efforts to break Ukraine’s will to fight and the West’s will to continue supporting Kyiv. Putin is unlikely to escalate to the use of tactical nuclear weapons barring the sudden collapse of the Russian military permitting Ukrainian forces to make uncontrolled advances throughout the theater. Such a situation is possible but unlikely. Putin is extraordinarily unlikely to seek direct military conflict with NATO. Putin is very likely to continue to hint at the possibility of Russian tactical nuclear use and attacks on NATO, however, as parts of his effort to break Western will to continue supporting Ukraine. This forecast rests on two assessments. First, that Putin is setting conditions to continue throwing poorly prepared Russian troops directly into the fighting in Ukraine for the foreseeable future rather than pausing operations to reconstitute effective military forces. Second, that Putin’s theory of victory relies on using the harsh winter to break Europe’s will. These assessments offer a series of timelines that support the forecast ... over the course of several predictable time periods.
That, at last, offers a decent attempt at divining & articulating something that looks half like a coherent Putin strategy, & it's been a long time coming. I say 'coherent', but there could be less dispassionate descriptions of a strategy that involves plugging gaps in the line with tens of thousands of human beings quite literally swept up off the streets, in pursuit of a failed war of aggression.
PS, don't bother us again with "... but ISW are a bunch of neocons", thanks, trolls. ISW are bloody good analysts.